(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
SANTA CLARA, Calif.— Sophomore pitcher McKenna Bull tied the school record for single-season victories as BYU run-ruled Santa Clara 8-0 for its fourth West Coast Conference sweep Saturday afternoon.
Bull is 32-7 on the season, tying former pitcher Paige Affleck who set the record in 2010.
“After two wins to seize conference yesterday, today was a game of good execution for the win,” BYU pitching coach Pete Meredith said. “McKenna did enough to earn the victory and we look forward to her 33rd to break the record. Catcher Sydney Broderick played a large part in those wins as did the whole team.”
The Cougars (37-10, 12-0 WCC) proved to be too much for the Broncos (15-35, 4-11) on SCU’s senior day, as BYU used a six-run first inning to jump out ahead.
Bull dictated around the plate, scattering four hits while striking out five in five innings of work for her seventh shutout of the year.
Junior Gordy Bravo extended her hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-4 performance including one RBI and one run scored. Sophomores Mercedes O’Connor and Broderick each had two hits apiece.
The Cougars quickly loaded the bases in the first inning with three consecutive singles by Bravo, Bell and O’Connor. Two batters later, Broderick drove in the first run of the game with her left-field single to score Bravo.
An illegal pitch by the SCU pitcher advanced the BYU runners, scoring Bell before bases were juiced again after St. Clair was awarded a base on balls.
The next run came across the plate when Megan Arnold drew a two-out walk for an RBI, scoring O’Connor. Hofstedt then hit a ball into left-center, but the two outfielders collided, dropping the ball off the centerfielder’s glove, clearing the bases for three more runs before the inning ended 6-0.
After a leadoff single by Santa Clara in the first, the Cougars retired the next three batters to end the frame, including a catch by St. Clair as she dove to her right in the dirt at second base.
BYU tacked on one run in each of the next two innings, bringing the tally to 8-0 after three. Broderick had another RBI on a single through the right side to score Bell in the second. In the third, Bravo doubled down the left-field line, driving in Arnold who led off the frame with a hit to the left-center gap.
Over the final two frames, Bull struck out three Bronco batters, as Santa Clara couldn’t get anything going. The Broncos had two runners on base in the fifth on a single and a walk, but they couldn’t cash in as Bull ended the game with her fifth strikeout.
The Cougars return home for their final home game of the season Tuesday at 5 p.m. MDT when they face Utah Valley. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
Box Score–BYU vs. Santa Clara (game three)